Parenting

Parenting is a Journey, Don't Take It Alone

“Parenting is a Journey, Don’t Take it Alone” is the theme that runs through the programming  Jewish Child & Family Services offers for parents.  Travelers always take certain things with them – smart phones, identification, fuel, food, directions - so that their trips can be smooth.  What crucial items do parents need to have on their journeys?  The concepts in this article can be helpful for all parents regardless of the age of their children or the issue at hand.

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Winter Car Seat Safety Tips

One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year, thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe.

Winter is a tricky time for car seats. As a general rule, bulky clothing, including winter coats and snowsuits, should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat.

In a car crash, fluffy padding immediately flattens out from the force, leaving extra space under the harness. A child can then slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat.

The following tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will help parents strike that perfect balance between keeping little ones warm as well as safely buckled in their car seats.

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All Our Kids Really Need to Know about Safeguarding Their Bodies, They Learn from the ABCDs

By Mindi Zissman

Guest author Mindi Zissman, shares her insights as a Safety Mom who presents the “Safety Kid” program to students from early childhood through 5th grade in Jewish day schools.

Statistically speaking, 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys will be a victim of childhood sexual abuse(1). Experts agree, though, that the real numbers are far greater, since most childhood sexual abuse still goes unreported.

But, the Jewish People have never been beholden to predictive numbers. Throughout generations, regardless of the challenge, we have always defied the odds.

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Family Conflict: An Opportunity for Growth and Change for All

by David Lipschutz, LCSW, Director of Adult, Child and Family Services

Conflicts happen at school, at work, and in homes. Arguments, big and small, occur in all families. There are many causes for these conflicts. The pressures on families are endless. Financial, cultural, traumas, school, employment, and relationships are some examples of stressors that families face on a daily basis. All these stressors create a complex environment for raising children in our society. This article highlights the potential for growth and change by acknowledging that verbal conflicts occur in families and looks at ways to be less reactive in these conflicts.

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Children Will Listen: How to Promote a Healthier Body Image for Your Kids

If you grew up in an environment where you received unhealthy messages around eating, body image, and weight, it can be difficult to break the cycle and avoid passing these ideas on to your own kids. But it’s not impossible! A good first step is to listen to the way you (intentionally or unintentionally) talk about eating and body image in your child’s presence. If you find yourself saying any of the things below, try to shift to healthier, happier talk. This will not only benefit your child, but it can lead to your own gradual internalization of more positive thoughts and beliefs.

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Getting Through the Holidays During Divorce or Separation

by Tami Sollo LCSW, Divorce Specialist

When a family is going through a divorce, everything changes, including the comfortable tradition of how they spend the holidays. Thanksgiving may have been celebrated with one side of the family, and Hanukkah or Christmas with the other, or a blending of the two families. That very first holiday season is the most difficult. Often the divorce does not just affect the immediate family, but may include extended family and friends as well. If there are children, it is very important to find a way to establish a new sense of normalcy. This can be complicated by the loss of one side of the family, or the children having to spend different holidays with a different parent.

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We’re All in this Together: What to Expect in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd Grades; Language Arts, Literacy and Math

by Marc Bermann, Recruiter/Trainer

All schools systems have academic standards that provide an important, clear roadmap for learning. In the early stages of language arts and literacy development, children will learn the fundamentals of letter and word recognition; sentence structure and reading comprehension. In the early stages of mathematics development, they will learn counting and comparing numbers (i.e., which is a greater amount?) and basic word problems. To help your child perform in school, it is best to help your child learn at home, as well. Try to create a quiet place for your child to study, and carve out time every day when your child can concentrate. You should also try to sit down with your child at least once a week for 15 to 30 minutes while he or she works on homework. This will keep you informed about what your child is working on, and it will help you be the first to know if your child needs help with specific topics or concepts.

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Cuffing Season, Ghosting, Hooking Up: Teen Dating Slang That Every Parent Should Know

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular terms that teens use to describe modern romance, from the tamest to the riskiest. Just to be clear: We’re definitely not suggesting that you violate your child’s privacy, but if you hear or come across any of these terms, there might be more going on than meets the eye. Don’t see the term you’re looking for? Try this comprehensive list of acronyms or this guide to teen slang.

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Tips for Traveling with Young Children During the Holidays

by Carri Hill PhD, Pia Todras PsyD and Barbara Danis PhD

The holiday season is upon us, and for many families that means time to hit the road to grandma's house! Regardless of the mode of transportation --car, train or plane-- traveling with young children can be challenging for the entire family. Even the most well-behaved child may have difficulty managing his behaviors and emotions during this time of year. Planning ahead increases the likelihood that the trip will go smoothly.

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Coming Out: How to Support Your LGBTQ Teen

In honor of National Coming Out Day (October 11), we celebrate those who bravely choose to live openly as LGBTQ. Coming out is always emotionally charged—not only for the person doing it, but for those they’re telling. For LGBTQ teens, who are often reliant on the adults around them for support and protection, the decision to come out can be extra-emotional and filled with uncertainty. They may be deeply scared of suffering rejection (or worse) at the hands of loved ones.

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